negotiations. we will speak only with the weapons in our hands. >> the islamist militants are thought to number between 2000- 6000. no one really knows for sure. they control the streets of timbuktu and other northern cities. they call themselves the islamist police, forcing people to comply with the ban on smoking, drinking, and western music. women cover-up whenever they go out. if not, they risk interrogation by the religious police. many people consider the militants as occupiers. timbuktu used to be home to 50,000 people. only half remain. 300 kilometers south, it is business as usual. until recently, it was a tourist trap. now it is close to the frontlines.